(FORBES) – On Tuesday, the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton "Stan," starting price at $6 million to $8 million, was sold after a 20-minute bidding war for $31,847,500 at Christie’s New York, marking a new record for a dinosaur fossil. In 1997, an almost complete (90%) Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, also known as "Sue the T.rex," sold for $8.36 million – or nearly $13.5 million if you adjust for inflation – to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The identity of Stan's buyer has not been made public.
The fossil is named after the amateur paleontologist Stan Sacrison, who in 1987, during a field-trip in South Dakota, discovered a bone protruding from a rocky cliff in the 66-million-year-old Hell Creek Formation. Excavated in 1992 and after 30,000 hours of cleaning and assembling the bones, the reconstructed skeleton was owned by the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, a commercial company specialized in fossil trade.